For the past several years we have been told it’s been the year of mobile, as if it’s something on the horizon and not currently practical for media initiatives. True, there are (and probably always will be) inventory, tagging and trafficking issues that can plague attribution, but to view one of the most powerful tools in the media toolbox as something “on the horizon” is a hinderance to the possibilities of campaign sophistication. There is a staggering amount of available data we can use to inform media campaigns on behalf of our clients, and we’d be unwise to not at least discuss mobile as a component of an overall media strategy.
To exclude mobile from a media campaign’s consideration set is like starting off a race not only blindfolded, but without hydration, sleep and a clear idea of the competition. Our phones and tablets are the entry point for digital media consumption (outside of laptops and other personal computers). Our cell phones represent our “realest” digital selves. We consume the sites that really make us who we are, digitally. Everything from our hobbies to our purchase behavior are components of our digital thumbprint.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, our phone is almost always on our bodies, gathering data on geographic location, digital applications, and mobile web usage. This is valuable information that can tie back initial brand exposure to in-store purchases, or re-engage with an audience after they have been to a brick and mortar location. People rarely share their phones (as they share laptops within their family unit), therefore the data available, particularly geographic data, is some of the most beneficial targeting and measuring tools available for marketers.
With all this information gleaned from our mobile devices, one would assume a successful media plan would have appropriate contextual and relevant placements and exposure for any given ad experience. There is an adage that’s gotten more popular recently that “people don’t hate ads, they hate bad ads.” Ads that aren’t relevant upon serving are too often a nuisance as well as a waste of ad dollars.
To quote The Office’s delightfully unstable Andy Bernard, “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.” We happen to be in the “good old days” of advertising, which is the age of relevant, logical targeting and the responsible spending of our partner’s marketing dollars. Mobile is not only propping up targeting sophistication, but allowing advertisers to place relevant campaigns to various audiences while closing the loop on a client’s business goals.